Wimbledon set for huge expansion

People shelter from the sun under an umbrella at Wimbledon. (Tim Ireland, AP)
People shelter from the sun under an umbrella at Wimbledon. (Tim Ireland, AP)

London - Wimbledon's expansion plans have taken a huge step forward after the neighbouring golf club in London voted to sell its land.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) made an offer, reported to be £65 million, to buy Wimbledon Park Golf Club's land in a move that would see its estate roughly triple in size.

On Thursday, the All England club announced a vote had gone in its favour, and that the transfer, pending court approval, would go through on December 21.

A statement said it was "an important and exciting step" for the club and the future of Wimbledon.

"The decision of the Wimbledon Park Golf Club members to vote in favour of the acquisition offer is a hugely significant moment for the AELTC and the Championships," said All England club chairperson Philip Brook.

"We have achieved what we set out to do many months ago in having certainty in our planning for the future."

Top of the wish list will be moving the Wimbledon qualifiers from their current Roehampton home to the main Wimbledon site, in keeping with the other three Grand Slam events.

"Over time, we plan to migrate the qualifying competition onto the land in order to elevate the event to world-class standards," the statement added.

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